A “Bring Your Own Device” policy in the workplace means that employees are allowed to bring their own devices - such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and others - and use them in the workplace for work purposes. As most people have a smartphone and do at least some of their work on their mobile devices, it seems to make sense to allow employees to access corporate assets on their own devices. But what implications does this “BYOD” policy in workplaces have on cybersecurity, and is it really worth it to allow employees to bring their own devices?
BYOD Advantages And Disadvantages
Implementing a BYOD policy for small businesses has both pros and cons. While employees bringing in their own devices is known to increase productivity at work, employees accessing sensitive data on private devices isn’t always appropriate or safe. Before deciding whether to implement a BYOD policy in your own workplace, you should consider both the potential benefits and downfalls of this approach.
- Lower costs - The most obvious advantage to a BYOD policy in the workplace is that it lessens technology costs for your company. You won’t need to buy devices for each employee, which should result in a significant reduction in expenses. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to invest in other security measures, like a safe network and cybersecurity software to combat the BYOD security risks.
- Remote access - If you have a hybrid workplace or your employees work from home, it is often easier for them to access work-related materials if they are able to use their own device. Allowing your employees to access work-related information from a distance can be useful, too, in case you or your coworkers need to glance at data or make a work-related phone call once you get home. Remote access also eliminates the need to train employees on new software from a distance, which can prove challenging.
- Safety risks - Company devices can be thoroughly secured by your IT team, ensuring that all confidential data is kept safe. Personal devices, though, don’t undergo the same treatment, and will likely be used for employees’ personal affairs as well as work. If employees connect to an insecure network outside of work, accidentally delete data, or their device is subject to a virus, it can be hard to retrieve the lost or stolen information.
- Lack of consistency - Not every employee has access to the same devices or the same software, and some employees may not have access to the needed devices at all. Therefore, you won’t always be able to be consistent with what software programs you use for work, and you may need to accommodate employees who need help accessing the necessary materials.
While BYOD policies are no doubt cheaper than policies that require employers to purchase a device for each employee, it’s debatable as to whether the risks of BYOD are worth it. By implementing a BYOD policy in your workplace, you put your data, assets, and information at risk.
If you are BYOD small business, Trava can help ensure that your company is secure!